Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Big (Red) Surprise

A Moose Track

Let's get this straight. Twelve seeds aren't supposed to beat five seeds.

Yeah, it happens sometimes. Cinderella stories, the NCAA tournament surprises, yeah, whatever, whoop-de-do, it happens. But they're not supposed to turn around and beat a four seed, right? Twelve seeds are usually all gone by now, even in a crazy tournament year like this, right?

But, there's one thing we're missing here: Ivy League schools aren't supposed to get to the Sweet Sixteen, right? I mean, a school that doesn't even give out athletic scholarships upsetting Temple and Wisconsin? I mean, we know that UCLA, UNC, UConn and Memphis were having NIT seasons, but an Ivy League school taking their place and winning? THAT'S a cinderella team. Especially when nobody in their conference has made it that far since 1979.

Cornell started the tournament 3-63 all-time against top 25 teams, and they beat two of them within three days. They're very efficient, they rarely turn the ball over (and they make the other team turn it over often). They play like, well a team that doesn't give athletic scholarships: unspectacular and technically sound. But they get the job done and they'll take you by surprise.

On Thursday, Ryan Wittman (who became the fifth player in conference history to score 2,000 points on Sunday) and the Big Red will take on John Wall and the Kentucky Wildcats. Yeah, it's a one seed against a twelfth seed. Yeah, Kentucky's favored by nine. Yeah, the talent is overwhelmingly on UK's side.

But everyone loves the underdog, right? Especially one's who have no NBA aspirations, playing for only their pride. But hey, Ivy League grads are probably more valuable to our society than one-and-dones, right?

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